Private View & Opening Event – Friday 13 October, 7.30pm
Installation Open – Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 October, 11.00am-6.00pm
PS/Y’s Hysteria programme and the King’s College Arts & Humanities Research Institute present Relic 1, a new moving image installation by artist Larry Achiampong.
In a seemingly desolate United Kingdom, a child-like protagonist apparates across the landscape, uncovering fragments of data that bear testimony to a forgotten Empire. Informed by technology, agency of the body, and narratives of migration, Relic 1 invites its audience on a journey consisting of moments that are simultaneously claustrophobic, traumatic, poetic and sublime. These constructed and yet familiar feelings of otherness embody situations of colonial hysteria. Relic 1 is part of Relic Traveller, Achiampong’s on-going multi-disciplinary project, which also includes PAN AFRICAN FLAG FOR THE RELIC TRAVELLERS’ ALLIANCE currently hoisted atop Somerset House.
Please join us for the opening event on Friday 13 October, 7.30 PM, including an in-conversation with Jessica Taylor and a reading by Nephertiti Oboshie Schandorf.
Part of the King’s College Arts and Humanities Festival 2017
In the Northern hemisphere autumn equinox marks the threshold into winter darkness – and symbolically into the dreams of an extended night. It therefore celebrates the power of dreaming to unsettle the fabric of reality by rendering weird—Wyrd—and contingent, the waking life of our troubled modernity.
Marie Kølbæk Iversen’s Autumn equinox celebration is part of PS/Y’s Hysteria – a combined arts programme that explores health and illness in contemporary society, focusing on issues of gender, race and cultural identity. Hysteria is curated by Mette Kjærgaard Præst and takes place in partnership with organisations and institutions across London from August 2017 until April 2018.
Marie Kølbæk Iversen, b. Herning, Denmark, 1981. Lives and works in Copenhagen. Emphasizing the presence of technology and the concreteness of feedback loops, the performances and installations of Marie Kølbæk Iversen challenge representational powers of mediation by reducing it to those material properties through which it is in excess of itself: patterns, waves, vibrations, flows. Studies: Visual Artist MFA from the Department of Time-Based Media at Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, DK, 2008. As of October 2017 artistic PhD scholar at the Oslo National Academy of Fine Art, Norway, and Aarhus University, Denmark, with the project “Neo-worlds: the transformative potentialities of fright.”
Diana Policarpo, b. Lisbon, Portugal, 1986. Lives and works between London and Lisbon. Diana Policarpo is a visual artist and free composer working in drawing, score, sculpture, performance and multi-channel sound installation. She graduated from Goldsmiths College with a MFA in Fine Art in 2013. Her work investigates power relations, popular culture and gender politics, juxtaposing the rhythmic structuring of sound as a tactile material within the social construction of esoteric ideology. She creates performances and installations to examine experiences of vulnerability and empowerment associated with acts of exposing oneself to the capitalist world.
PS/Y is a research, curating and public engagement group committed to exploring the interface of arts and health sciences. We are passionate about the role that notions of health and illness have been defining features of modernity and continue to play a major role in contemporary society. We are committed to developing interdisciplinary projects and dialogue with artists, arts organisations, academic institutions and communities to interrogate the place of the psyche within contemporary and post modern culture. PS/Y seeks to traverse the boundaries that separate areas of knowledge normally thought to be separate to open up new fields of enquiry. We aim to create new creative insights to engage diverse audiences for an interdisciplinary arts practice that aims to explore the relationship between mind and body in Western culture.
Director: Errol Francis
Curator: Mette Kjærgaard Præst
Research Consultant: Professor Victoria Tischler
Creative adviser: Nike Jonah
Hysteria is a multi-disciplinary arts festival taking place across a range of venues and institutions in London. Building on the critical framework established by Anxiety and Acting Out festivals, Hysteria explores the intersection between arts and mental health with a focus on how psychological trauma is experienced as physical symptoms. The festival presents a programme of exhibitions, performances, screenings, discussion events, workshops, residencies and community engagement, aimed at combined arts audiences, artists, scholars, scientists and students with interests across the arts, humanities and medical sciences. The festival includes visual art, film, performance, dance and music.
PS/Y Director Errol Francis and Curator Mette Kjærgaard Præst are researching the different iterations of hysteria and its evolution into conversion and psychogenic disorder in relation to issues of gender, race and cultural identity. Hysteria and conversion disorder raise issues about contemporary society, especially how our experience of physical health is linked to psychological wellbeing.
Hysteria explores these areas through an arts programme including visual art, moving image, sound and movement. We are currently in conversation with artists and biomedical partners with whom we aim to explore the contemporary medical definition of conversion disorder, aspects of self-harm in relation to gender and cultural identity and the historical theories around hysteria. We are particularly interested in how an exploration of hysteria can open up a debate about related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, psychogenic and psychosomatic disorders and the substantial role that they play in medical presentations by patients. By focusing on this area we aim to artistically explore the way that mind and body are articulated in Western medicine and the somatisation of psychological trauma as physical symptoms.
Our previous experience of delivering the Anxiety Arts Festival 2014 and Acting Out Nottingham 2015 has demonstrated the potential of exploring mental health issues through the arts because of the wide audience we reached and the interdisciplinary dialogue that was promoted. With the present theme of hysteria we want to promote an exploration and discussion about the relationship between mental and physical health that is bound up with the concept of conversion disorder. The outputs that we envisage are four commissions that will explore different dimensions of hysteria and its modern conceptualization as conversion disorder.
With Hysteria we are aiming to reach a mixed arts audience including those interested in mental health, service users, clinicians, and academics to promote an interdisciplinary public dialogue between the arts and mental health.
PS/Y’s Hysteria programme is supported by Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fund and public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Acting Out Nottingham 2015 was a public engagement progamme that celebrated artistic expression through performative engagement at the interface of art and mental health through an investigation of the concept of ‘acting out’.
The starting point for the programme was the contested term ‘acting out’, which connects psychological language with the rhetoric of social order and performativity. This exploration is intended to facilitate collaborations between arts and health disciplines in order to change the way that deviant behaviour is perceived.
Our approach was based on the history and understanding that the term ‘acting-out’ reveals. On the one hand, it references the contested discourses surrounding mental illness, stigma and discrimination whilst, on the other, it refers to the aesthetic relationship between psychoanalysis and social order.
Acting Out Nottingham was realised in partnership with: University of the Arts London, Nottingham Contemporary, Primary, Broadway Cinema, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, and Rampton Hospital.
For Hysteria 2017 PS/Y is researching with:
Larry Achiampong – visual artist, whose work employs imagery, aural and visual archives, live performance and sound to explore ideas of cross-cultural and post-digital identity
Candoco Dance Company – London based contemporary dance company of disabled and non-disabled dancers
Dr Stéphanie Courtade – French psychiatrist
Sander L. Gilman – distinguished professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University
Florence Peake – dancer, choreographer, visual artist and teacher
Jocelyn Pook – music composer for film, television, theatre, dance & the concert platform
Farah Saleh – Palestinian dancer and choreographer, who works with gestures, art and political change
S P Sashidharan – Psychiatrist based in Glasgow. He is Hon. Professor at the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Hon. Consultant with Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, and Board Member of Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Cally Spooner – visual artist. Her diverse practice includes essays, media installations and live events, which grapple with the organisation and dispossession of that which lives
Victoria Tischler -Professor of Arts and Health / Head of Dementia Care Centre, University of West London
Dr Isabel Valli – Neuroscientist at Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College and Consultant Psychiatrist, COAST First Episode Psychosis Service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Cara Tolmie – visual artist working within the intersections of performance, music and moving image
Zadie Xa – London based Canadian artist whose work explores identity, desire and personal fantasy